Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture

Summary:

Modern agricultural practices have been major causes of soil degradation and fertility loss, pollution of water bodies, and natural resource depletion in NRGB. Hence transition to sustainable agriculture is urgently needed to maintain NRGB's ecosystem services. Though arable land is the major constraint for agricultural growth in NRGB, the growth almost quadrupled in forty years since the 1960s by adopting high-yield crops with high fertilizer and water inputs. But extensive use of water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, soil tillage, and monocropping have increased soil erosion and degradation, depleted soil nutrients and biodiversity, dwindled the basin's waters, and polluted its ecosystems. The main agricultural reforms recommended in NRGB are therefore identified as: (1) Adoption of Conservation Agriculture (involving no tillage, crop diversification, and permanent organic soil cover) to enhance long-term soil fertility and agricultural output, especially in degrading lands. (2) Promotion of Organic Farming where economically feasible. (3) Improved water and nutrient management techniques, especially System of Rice Intensification and Urea Deep Placement, in rice cultivation. (4) Promoting other known resource conservation technologies. (5) Promoting regional (landscape-scale) resource conservation steps to mollify agroecosystem impacts. (6) Infusing experimentation, adaptability and flexibility in NRGB's agricultural practices. (7) Devising appropriate policy measures to achieve the above goals within the existing socio-cultural, economic and institutional framework.

Source: Gangapedia